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Strong Defense Against Allegations Of Embezzlement

Embezzlement  Penal Code 503

Proven Approach with results forged by Experience. 

Embezzlement is a very common charge in San Diego County.  As a former prosecutor, the courts are full of cases where a cashier took money from a register or an employee steals a product from their job.  The California Penal Code 503 PC outlines the crime of embezzlement.  Embezzlement is distinct from the crimes of theft and fraud because the property owner entrusts his/her property to the defendant, but the defendant abuses this trust.  It is illegal to take another person’s property entrusted to you.  The prosecutor needs to show several elements to show that you are guilty of embezzlement under Penal Code 503 PC.  It must be true that the property owner entrusted his or her property to you.  Furthermore, the owner had trust in you, but you fraudulently used or converted the property for your own gain.  It must also be true that you intend to deprive/deny the property owner of the use and enjoyment of the property.  Be proactive and contact the Law Offices of Mark Deniz at (858) 751-4384.

Embezzlement can be a Felony or a Misdemeanor

Like many other white-collar crimes in California, embezzlement is a wobbler offense, and you may face misdemeanor or felony charges.  For a misdemeanor conviction, the applicable jail time is up to one year.  You might also have to pay a fine that does not exceed $1,000. For a felony conviction, you will serve prison time.  The imprisonment period may vary from 16 months, two years, or three years.

What exactly is Embezzlement?

An embezzlement is a form of theft.  Generally speaking, theft is the crime of taking property that belongs to another person without their consent.  Many crimes of theft involve taking property that is in the possession of another person.  Embezzlement, however, is the crime of stealing property that has been entrusted to you.

The crime of embezzlement is defined in California Penal Code Section 503 PC to mean the “fraudulent appropriation of property by a person to whom it has been entrusted.”  In simpler terms, embezzlement means stealing property (including money) that someone has trusted you to look after or guard.

Elements of Embezzlement

In order to be convicted of embezzlement, the state must be able to prove each of the following elements of the crime:

  1. An owner entrusted his or her property to you,
  2. The owner entrusted you with this property because they trusted you,
  3. You fraudulently converted or used this property for your own benefit, and
  4. When stealing the property, you intended to deprive the owner of its use.

So, in order to be convicted the prosecution must prove that someone trusted you enough to put you in charge of their property and you intentionally violated this trust by using the property for your own benefit.

Defenses to Charges for Embezzlement

Accusations of theft and embezzlement are incredibly serious and can be devastating to your future. It is important to defend yourself against these accusations by explaining, excusing, or justifying your behavior.  When your arguments and defenses are successful the prosecution will have a difficult time establishing a solid case against you.  When this happens, they will be more likely to offer a plea or dismiss the charges. Defenses that may be helpful in your San Diego case for embezzlement include:

  • You didn’t intend to steal the property.
  • You didn’t know you took or converted the property.
  • You mistakenly believed you had a right to use/take the property.
  • You are the lawful owner of the property.
  • You did not intend to deprive the owner of the benefits of the property.
  • You have been falsely accused.

Your life will change forever if you are convicted of a crime.  The key is to be proactive.  You want a former Prosecutor on your side.  Contact the Law Offices of Mark Deniz at (858) 751-4384.

Get Our Strong, Proactive Defense

The key to a successful outcome is being proactive. Contact The Law Offices of Mark Deniz APLC and we can provide this for you. Schedule your free initial consultation by calling 858-429-9982 or by using our online contact form.